APEC declaration welcomed, except for glaring omission

The APEC leaders’ declaration at the end of the regional grouping’s summit in Singapore has been welcomed, except for one glaring omission.

Normally the resulting statement at the end of these confabs is a banal political reaffirmation of aspirational goals.

But with the shadow of the Copenhagen climate change conference looming just weeks away the exclusion of any binding emission reduction targets has been slammed.

Although Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon co-hosted a climate change breakfast on the sidelines of the conference and there were reports of reduction targets being in a draft of the leaders’ statement, the final product was notable for the absence of any reference to legally binding measures and has since been derided in the global press.

See it in full:

The rest of the declaration said the group would work towards: resisting protectionism; supporting the multilateral trading system; accelerating regional economic integration; supporting balanced growth; fostering inclusive growth; promoting sustainable growth; strengthening economic and technical cooperation; enhancing human security; fighting corruption, improving governance and transparency; and strengthening APEC.

Noteworthy among these motherhood statements was the support given to the G-20 in the supporting balanced growth section and the highlighting of human security.

With many medium powers like Australia pushing for the G-20 to become the place to work out global economic issues this is arguably somewhat of a win.

And for the human security push happening in the United Nations – particularly since Kofi Annan’s era and the days of Kosovo – the show of support in the APEC arena is surely a welcome one.